Boston Construction

ZONING APPROVED: CambridgeSide Redevelopment to Include Residential, Restaurant and Office Space

ZONING APPROVED: CambridgeSide Redevelopment to Include Residential, Restaurant and Office Space

In the age of online shopping and "zombie malls", how does a space like CambridgeSide Galleria stay afloat?

New England Development has outlined their plans to transform the mall into a mixed-use "mini neighborhood" with residential, retail and office space.

The prevalence of e-commerce has reshaped the shopping environments of major cities, and developers throughout the country are looking to take on urban malls.

"CambridgeSide has recently demonstrated that they're in financial straits and need to move to a mixed-use model in order to survive. Malls that have adopted this model have been invigorated and are thriving," said Chuck Hinds, head of the citizen-run East Cambridge Planning Team.


Photos courtesy of Boston Planning & Development Agency.

Plans to rezone CambridgeSide have been on the table for two years, with Cambridge City Council and community group members offering input along the way.

The new rezoning plan will allow New England Development to construct up to 575,000 square-feet of net floor area that will be available for residential, commercial and retail uses. Per terms agreed upon with the city of Cambridge, New England Development will allocate 30 percent of the new square footage to low and middle income housing.

"The project will transform First Street into an active and vibrant street providing new connections between the East Cambridge neighborhood and CambridgeSide and Canal Park, and will serve to further improve and activate Canal Park for use and enjoyment by the City residents and visitors, remarked a spokesperson for New England Development.

New England Development estimates that the project could cost more than $800 million and take 8 to 10 years to complete.

The project still has to go through a special permit process before construction.

New England Development has also made several commitments to the East Cambridge neighborhood, with $9 million going to the nonprofit community center East End House, $7 million going to transportation improvements, and $1 million going to the neighborhood's "Tree Fund".


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